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The Qualified Personal Residence Trust: A Classic Estate Planning Tool

January 28, 2020

One of the most difficult problems in an estate plan often is the family home or vacation home. It is an especially significant problem for estates that are likely to be taxable. A principal residence or vacation home is likely to have significant value. The key to reducing estate taxes is to remove property from […]

estate planning

Is the “QTIP Trust” Right for Your Estate Plan? Part II

September 24, 2019

In last week’s edition of Retirement Watch Weekly, I introduced my readers to Qualified Terminal Interest Property (QTIP) trusts. Today, we’ll examine the most ideal situations in which to use them. 1. At least one spouse has children from a prior marriage, and that spouse wants to ensure that those children get at least a […]


Is the “QTIP Trust” Right for Your Estate Plan?

September 17, 2019

As we’ve seen, it is easy to cut your estate taxes to zero, especially if you’re married. All you have to do is leave everything to your spouse. Your estate gets an unlimited marital deduction for all property left to your spouse. So having your spouse inherit everything eliminates taxes on your estate. Despite the […]

How to Choose Between Wills and Trusts

January 23, 2019

There are two tools available for passing the bulk of your legacy to others, and the best choice for one person might not be a good choice for another. The foundation of your estate plan can be either a will or a trust, usually a revocable Living Trust. They’re not exclusive. Most estates have both […]

Avoiding the Major Mistake Made with Most Trusts

October 15, 2018

Many people leave money on the table and holes in their estate plans when they use the traditional approach to creating and planning trusts. The traditional approach is to name one trustee to manage every-thing about the trust. Sometimes this is a professional trustee, such as a bank or trust company, but it also could […]

The Charitable Remainder Trust: How to Protect & Stretch Your IRA

September 19, 2018

The number of people naming charitable trusts as IRA beneficiaries is climbing, and for good reasons. Typically, IRA beneficiaries are individuals, often the surviving spouse or the adult children of the owner. The goal often is to create a Stretch IRA, with the beneficiary taking only required minimum distributions (RMDs) each year so the tax-deferred […]

Estate Planning Without Wills & Trusts – Part 2

July 20, 2018

In Part 1 of this article, I shared some of the avenues through which you can ensure transfer of assets without the need for wills and trusts. So this week, let’s continue the discussion with more ways to avoid probate and transfer property… starting with: Bank accounts. Though once obscure, payable on death (POD) bank accounts […]

estate planning

How to Manage Your Estate Planning without Wills, Trusts, and Probate

July 13, 2018

You might be surprised to learn that many Estate Planning goals can be accomplished without wills and trusts. In fact, using other tools can spare you some of the expense and complications of wills and trusts. These strategies also cause the assets to avoid the delay and expense of probate, transferring the title of each […]

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